Hebrew and character formation

Spring quarter is now over. Three more classes down, way too many to list yet to go. What is both exciting and saddening is that I am now done with Hebrew coursework (after 9 months of intensive study). I recently spent time reflecting on how the study of the language of the Old Testament has influenced the formation of my character.  This is what I came up with:

What I must first affirm is that the actual exposure to the Scriptural text, oftentimes more robust in meaning in the original language, brings about a transformation that no doubt shapes character. However, equally impactful for me is how the study of Hebrew offers me a constant reminder of the great weight of handling the inspired Word of God. Since beginning this course, I have often been reminded of a few verses from the New Testament:

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly (James 3:1 NIV).

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15 NIV).

The task of shepherding the people of God through the ministry of teaching and equipping is indeed a weighty one. So, as I engaged in the study of Hebrew, I constantly asked God to grant me a heart of deep passion and eager willingness to submit to Him. I often asked Him to allow my character to “keep pace” with what I am learning in the original language. I was reminded of how blessed I am to learn the language and now feel a nearly immediate instinct to share what I learn with others. Yet when I consider sharing with others, another instinct rises to the surface: to check where I am in my journey to know and experience the God revealed through the medium of language.

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